Find out what a mom of three thought of driving the 2017 Kia Soul Turbo and whether or not this car is suited for a family, teen, or commuter.
This summer, while I was visiting family in Texas, Kia was kind enough to loan me a 2017 Kia Soul Turbo to drive around. This was my first experience with the Soul and I had no idea what to expect, but I love the 2017 Kia Sportage and the new Kia Niro Hybrid so I had high hopes.
I drove the Wild Orange Kia Soul Turbo all around town and stopped by some local Odessa landmarks like the Stonehenge replica at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin and the Chris Kyle monument. If you haven’t read his book American Sniper you should! The Kia Soul Turbo should get 26/31 mpg city/highway, I averaged 26 MPG in the city for me and 29 MPG on the highway. I mainly drove around the city and I had it in Sport mode a lot.
I also got together with friends I grew up with for some boutique hopping and Mexican food. Boutique-ing is one of my favorite things to do in Texas. These are some of my life long friends I’ve had since junior high, Becky, Melanie, and Kristin. When I started writing up more about the girl trips I go on, you will see more of them. Overall, I liked the car, but I personally wouldn’t buy one, even though the price is great. The one I drove cost $23,500 the basic Soul starting price is even lower, just $16,100.
For my family, the Soul was slightly too small. When it was just me driving there was plenty of room, but as soon as I added the kids we were out of space. We barely got all of our luggage in it for the drive back to Dallas. I had to remove the cargo cover and set it on the floor of the second row in order to get everything in.
To me this car is better suited for a single person with no children than a family of four. It would make a fabulous car for a teen or college student.
I have constantly had in the back of my mind for two years now what kind of car to get my kids. I have two teens and a tween now, so I am going to be buying a lot of cars. The Kia Soul definitely made the list as did the new 2018 Kia Rio that I recently had a chance to drive.
The other issue I had with this small CUV was no air vents in the back seat. My kids get car sick without air and complain a lot. Like, a lot! It puzzles me why car manufacturers do this.
The back row had plenty of room for my two youngest and there was a middle seat, so we could have sat a fifth person if needed. Also, the back row folds down with a 60/40 split which is helpful if you need more trunk space.
Kia Soul UVO Infotainment
A big change for me is the UVO Infontainment. It relies heavily on Apple Car Play or Android Auto. Instead of it having navigation you connect your phone and use your iPhone map. I get why they do this and it’s handy, but I would rather have a regular GPS. (I’m showing my age). I found out later that if you want navigation included that is an option.
Touch Screen with UVO Infortainment – The 2017 Kia Soul features UVO Infontainment. It relies heavily on Apple Car Play or Android Auto. Instead of it having navigation you connect your phone and use your iPhone map. I get why they do this and it’s handy, but I would rather have a regular GPS. (I’m showing my age).
Track your Teens! – The best part for parents is the ability to track your teen drivers! I am all about
stalking keeping tabs your own children.
- Geo Fence – With this system you can set up zones kids are allowed or not allowed to drive in.
- Curfew Alert – With this system you can set up times that they are allowed to drive during or not allowed.
- Speed Alert – You will be alerted if the car exceeds a preset speed.
Parking Minder – My favorite feature is Parking Minder. When I park it leaves my car’s location on my cell phone map which enables me to quickly find the car. (Yes, I constantly forget where I park.)
Other 2017 Kia Soul Features I Like
Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) – Also added an autonomous emergency braking system on the EX. The system can slow down the car completely if necessary.
Sport Mode – The Kia Soul Turbo is peppy and fun to drive. I liked being able to pop it into sport mode when I was driving down dirt roads in West Texas. And, yes, I drove down a lot of dirt roads. To get to the gymnastics facility that Noah works out at when we are in town I take a rather long rocky dirt road between pump jacks that happens to be a short cut. If I had been in a small car I would not have been able to take this road.
Warranty – Like all Kia vehicles this one if bought brand new comes with the 10 year/100,000 mile limited powertrain warranty.
Steering Wheel Look and Feel – Everything is laid out well on this leather-wrapped, D-shaped steering wheel. There are lots of buttons, but they are marked clearly which makes things easy.
Dash Display – I appreciate the simplicity of the display. I do not need to see a bunch of useless info. Instead, I saw what I wanted to see, my mileage and how long could go before I needed gas.
Optional Options – I was not in a fully loaded Soul so it was missing some of the things I like the most like a panoramic sunroof. I did some checking and found out that it is an optional add-on.